Tag:John Lackey
Posted on: April 7, 2011 10:25 pm
 

Signs of Hope

The good news has to be that Jon Lester pitched a true gem tonight against the Indians. Kudos to him for doing his part to get the first Red Sox win of the year, unfortunately, he couldn't pitch the entire game. The bad news has to be that Daniel Bard lost the game again. This wasn't a full-out wheels-off-the-bus sort of meltdown like he had his previous outing; this was merely that lone run that was one run too many. The fact that he could lower his ERA while inking a game ERA for himself of 9 isn't so promising. I have faith in him, I just need to see reciprocity from him soon.
This whole situation reminds me of that infamous circumstance that Grady Little got himself into by leaving Pedro Martinez in one out too long. Pedro was having trouble getting wins that year because the bullpen kept giving away his leads. They had solid guys in the bullpen that year too; they just couldn't pull it together. Was it complacency? Did people tell them that they were supposed to be that good, so they started to believe it? Regardless, is Jon Lester going to start having those same situations arise? We all know this is a bad thing to feel like as a starting pitcher, as a manager, or as a fan. Grady Little got fired at the end of that year--thank goodness. We as fans hung our heads. But as a starting pitcher when you can't feel comfortable handing over a lead to your bullpen, you know they just start to try a little too hard for a little too long. They try to make every pitch perfect, and work through Jello-arm and dead-arm because they feel like the team needs them to.
The Red Sox don't need anyone to try to be the hero on the mound. They have a very nice pitching staff, from the starters to the closer. Each guy has got to have the comfort of knowing that the guys around him are capable of bailing anyone out on any given night.
The pitching effort by Lester was fantastic tonight, but let's not forget that Fausto Carmona did nearly an equal job. I'd take Lester's nine strikeouts and three walks over Carmona's four strikeouts and two walks. I was excited to see that Fausto may have returned to his front-of-the-rotation ability. He was exciting a few years ago and has had his share of injuries and setbacks.
I'm a little worried about the Yankees visiting Fenway tomorrow and having Lackey start. I know he's still a quality pitcher, but his confidence didn't seem like it was in the correct spot the other night after the Rangers beat up on him. Here's hoping that we don't have to hear about him never pitching well against the Yankees. Goodness knows we need a guy to step up for the Sox and do his job while all the others are doing their jobs too.
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Are the Red Sox in Trouble?

The Red Sox got swept in a three-game series against the Rangers to start this season. Sure the Rangers are a very good team; they were in the World Series last year, but are they that good? Or are the Red Sox just stinking up the joint to start the season? Nothing has gone particularly well for the Sox.
The hitters aren't firing on all cylinders, though some normally slow starters are showing some very nice early signs of life for the first time in a few seasons--David Ortiz are you listening? Thank you for hitting this April. Carl Crawford is being moved down in the batting order to seventh to take the pressure of the guy. He's apparently trying too hard. Woudln't you be trying super hard after signing a 9-figure deal in the offseason to play for one of the most storied franchises in baseball history? I'm not a fan of moving a guy down after three games. It's too small of a sample size to lower his confidence even more. Can you imagine the conversation in Tito's office: Carl, we're moving you down in the order to try to get you out of this funk that you're in. We think you're trying too hard. Carl sulks away from the office thinking he's the third-worst hitter in the Sox lineup; he's only better than Saltalamacchia and Scooter. If his confidence was waivering before, just think how it is now. Tito just pushed him off the ledge! Thank goodness Crawford is the professional that he is. He was able to understand that it was not a blow to the confidence the team has in him, but only a way to allow him some time to work out the kinks. He bounced back nicely with a couple of hits in his first game batting out of the seven hole. Crawford will be fine, and his stats will adjust as the year goes on, as will his confidence. I'm sure Francona will put him back at the front of the lineup once he shows signs of life.
 
 
 
 
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